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Announcement ::
**EMERGENCY PROTEST IN SUPPORT OF THE IRAQI UPRISING APRIL 8TH**
07 Apr 2004
During the last week only, conservative estimates put the Iraqi civilian death toll at more than 300 and thousands injured. US forces bombed mosques, houses, schools and hospitals hoping to terrorize the population into submission. Thus, we salute the Iraqi people in revolting under these difficult circumstances; we salute the call of the uprising to unite all Iraqis; we salute the solidarity of the Iraqi uprising with the uprising in Palestine.
**EMERGENCY PROTEST IN SUPPORT OF THE IRAQI UPRISING**

Thursday, April 8, 5:00pm @ Copley Square

In support of

* The Iraqi people's right to a free and democratic Iraq

* Confronting the occupation forces and their lawless mercenary death squads

* The Iraqi people's quest to end the occupation

* The Iraqi people's unity and demand for political representation


Called by: The New England Committee to Defend Palestine

The Iraqi uprising against the Anglo-American Colonialist forces and their mercenary death squads (so called civilian contractors) is a natural reaction to the brutality and unjust nature of the occupation. Since the invasion, the colonialist forces have engaged in indiscriminate killing of Iraqi civilians and targeted assassinations of any political forces that reject the plans to establish a puppet government denying the Iraqi people political representation and dividing them along ethnic lines.

During the last week only, conservative estimates put the Iraqi civilian death toll at more than 300 and thousands injured. US forces bombed mosques, houses, schools and hospitals hoping to terrorize the population into submission. Thus, we salute the Iraqi people in revolting under these difficult circumstances; we salute the call of the uprising to unite all Iraqis; we salute the solidarity of the Iraqi uprising with the uprising in Palestine.

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Re: **EMERGENCY PROTEST IN SUPPORT OF THE IRAQI UPRISING APRIL 8TH**
07 Apr 2004
I don't like the occupation, but neither do I like Sadr's theocratic followers. Sorry, but the enemy of my enemy is not always my friend. Would you have supported the Soviets after their invasion of Prague in 1968 because it countered Western imperialism? Did you support Khomeini in Iran? Do you support far-right militia members in the US who oppose the government? What principles do we stand on?
Re: **EMERGENCY PROTEST IN SUPPORT OF THE IRAQI UPRISING APRIL 8TH**
07 Apr 2004
Modified: 10:12:02 PM
I think the anti-war movement should stand on the principle that the violence of the oppressor is qualitatively different than the violence of the oppressed. Today in Irak, the oppressor is the U.S. military and it's brutal, genocidal occupation. The violence that they routinely wage against the Iraqi people should be condemned. We should stand in solidarity with the Iraqis that have the courage to stand up against the most brutal military killing machine, that is, the U.S. military. Whatever political differences we may have with the ideas of the Iraqi resistance, they are insignificant compared to what is at stake here. If the Washington warmongers succeed in their attempt to dominate Irak, it will be a catastrophic defeat for ordinary workers both in the U.S. and abroad. It is up to the Iraqi people to decide on what kind of government they want for their country. This is not a job to be sub-contracted to American imperialism, whose democratic signature is the millions of people it has bombed to death.
Re: **EMERGENCY PROTEST IN SUPPORT OF THE IRAQI UPRISING APRIL 8TH**
08 Apr 2004
So Bluto, do you support North Korea? Did you support Maoist China? They stand/stood up against US imperialism. Sorry but a killer's a killer. An asshole's an asshole. Whether it's George W Bush, Chairman Mao, or al-Sadr.
sorry.... forgot to add
08 Apr 2004
oh yeah. and no, I'm not in support of this occupation, I just also don't support the uprising, since it's primarily not as simple as the iraqi's trying to be free. This is a situation reminiscent of Somalia, the Islamists are using popular dissent to gain followers. I say fuck it. leave the damn place alone. it'll fall into civil war, but let them deal with it, they don't want out help and the Islamists, like the US are way too good at propaganda.
Re: **EMERGENCY PROTEST IN SUPPORT OF THE IRAQI UPRISING APRIL 8TH**
08 Apr 2004
"the enemy of my enemy is my friend"
"for us or against us"
"left or right"
these are all so oversimplistic it's disgusting. Bluto, the violent tendancies of an oppressor are only different from those of the oppressed if the oppressed are employing violence ONLY for liberation. If the oppressed are prepared to step up and create just an oppressive of a state- why are they different? I didn't support this war, nor Hussein. I oppose capitalism, but also Communism. Republicans are terrible, but democrats are almost identical.
The resistance in Iraq only deserves my/our support if they, at minimum, propose to create a govt that is non hierarchical, not anti-semitic, and not oppressive of women. Let's all remember that a state is a state no matter who is running it.
Re: **EMERGENCY PROTEST IN SUPPORT OF THE IRAQI UPRISING APRIL 8TH**
08 Apr 2004
Modified: 07:49:37 PM
In response to the question: If the oppressed are prepared to step up and create a state which is just as oppresive - why are they different?

My answer is: When Frederick Douglas said that "Without struggle there is no progress" he was obviously aware of the fact that throughout history oppressed groups of human beings have come together in collective struggle to overcome the conditions under which they are oppressed. They have done so often without a clear theoretical understanding of the conditions that enable their oppression and without a detailed plan of the society that they are fighting for. But they have struggled nonetheless.

In the specific case of Iraq today, the situation is developing in such a way that a very clear possibility is shaping up that U.S. imperialism might be in for a stunning defeat. It is not a done deal, it all depends on what we (revolutionaries in the U.S. and Iraqi resistance fighters in Iraq) do to defeat the Washington warmongers. If we win and U.S. imperialism is defeated in Iraq, this is an event of historic repercussions. The U.S. ruling class would be thrown into a crisis the likes of which has not been seen in this country since 1968. It would open up all sorts of possibilities for the left to grow in the U.S., for organized labor, it would cripple future planned U.S. interventions in other countries, etc, etc, etc.

To give up on this possible scenario because, in order to remain "politically pure" we refuse to support the people that are with the Muslim cleric Sadr because he might come to power in Iraq and set up an oppresive theocracy is, simply put, insane.

If I accept the premises of the question posed, then the logical conclusion that I must reach is that all struggle is futile because it is carried out by ordinary people who want to merely re-arrange the society in which they live. In other words, the only possible struggle that I will support will be that in which the people involved have decided beforehand and BY CONSENSUS that they are struggling for what the anarchists have instructed them to struggle: A STATELESS society.

If I accept the premises of the question posed, then the path that I must take is very clear: Withdrawal away from politics and into nihilism. And engage in a primitive rebellion against tyranny and oppression. Give up on the possibility of changing the world.

But I refuse to do that.
Re: **EMERGENCY PROTEST IN SUPPORT OF THE IRAQI UPRISING APRIL 8TH**
09 Apr 2004
The problem with this discussion is that it assumes there is one Iraqi resistance. There isn't. There are many. We should be selective about which Iraqi resistance groups we support.

I believe there are something like forty different armed groups operating in Iraq under various ideologies. Some of them are clearly engaging in terrorism, while there are probably others that are only attacking troops of the occupying country. It seems like we (the American left) should have some sort of minimal standard and at least not support groups using terrorism.

I would go further and evaluate groups on ideology. I don't those of us in the American left, especially anti-authoritarians, would find many of the armed groups ideologically palatable, but it's important to recognize that there are a range of beliefs--Baathists, Kurdhish nationalists and Islamists all have armed groups in Iraq. I think it's important to remember that Islamists represent a spectrum of beliefs, with some groups being relatively moderate and perhaps even palatable and others being quite fundmanetalist.

The Iraqi resistance I support though, is the Iraqi labor movement, which is trying to pull itself back together after years of repression under Hussein (and the US occupation authorities are using laws from the Hussein era against the new labor movement). I have a couple reasons for this. One is that the labor movement represents something most of us on the American left can support--and, indeed, US Labor Against the War is actively working with them. They may not be radicals or even necessarily across the board progressives, but at least they're not reactionaries. Two, they represent a more constructive approach to Iraq's future than most of these armed groups. A devastated society like Iraq does not really need more violence, even if it is directed against the occupying power. There has to be a way for people to start putting their lives and their society back together even as they struggle against the occupation--and the Iraqi labor movement seems to represent the best hope for that. Third, to be utterly frank, the Iraqi labor movement is not shooting at American troops. I care about the Iraqi people, but I also care about Americans--even those in the military. Most common soldiers are in the military because of the poverty draft--they had no other job opportunities and military recruiters dangle (often false) promises of a free college education in front of potential recruits. Some US soldiers are certainly committing atrocities and/or have racist attitudes towards Iraqis. I think many went in genuinely believing they were liberators--and most of those folks are now doubtless wondering what they are doing there. Some have even turned against the occupation. A major element of the US peace movement is families with members in the military in Iraq. If we want to increase support from these sorts of folks (which is vital) and from poor, working people (those who are mostly likely to have someone they care for in the military) in general, we can't support groups that are shooting at their loved ones. Supporting the Iraqi labor movement as the best element in the Iraqi resistance seems like the best strategy for a better future for Iraq and for increasing support for the American peace movement.
Re: **EMERGENCY PROTEST IN SUPPORT OF THE IRAQI UPRISING APRIL 8TH**
10 Apr 2004
Modified: 08:51:18 AM
I think we should remember the position of revolutionary marxists during the Vietnam War. Joel Geier, in an article called Marxism and War published in the magazine International Socialist Review (issue 8) writes:

"During the Vietnam War, we were not "pro-peace", for "nonviolent conflict resolution" or for negotiations on the differences between the two sides. We were against the war of the U.S. and for U.S. defeat. We were for the victory of the NLF, the movement leading the Vietnamese struggle, despite its Stalinist leadership whose politics we did not support. We had no illusions in that leadership, unlike much of the left which apologized for it, or the Maoists and orthodox Trotskyists who considered the NLF to be socialist because it was led by Stalinists. We knew the NLF would set up a state capitalist regime that would deny all democratic rights and powers to workers and peasants in order to better exploit them. The Vietnamese nation had the right to determine its fate, no matter the outcome, or the undemocratic nature of its leadership."

(end of Geier quote)

We should also remember that through out the 1950s and 1960s secular Arab nationalism was a political force in the Middle East that was bitterly opposed by U.S. imperialism. In order to suppress Arab nationalism, the U.S. supported all kinds of reactionary tin-pot dictators in the region, and was eventually successful at driving the Arab anti-imperialist movement into the only place that gave them a political space to express their views: the Arab Mosque.

If there is a reactionary Islamic component to the Iraqi resistance, its origins point back to Washington.

Finally, what is happening now in Fallujah has nothing to do with women oppression under Islamic rule. It has nothing to do with the reactionary nature of Islamic theocracies. It is about Iraqi resistance fighters willing to put their lives on the line in order to stand up against U.S. imperialism.

They deserve our full support.